Candidacy: Moving Toward Provisional Membership

The Membership Registrar for the Board of Ordained Ministry is Deb Payne. She and the Board's administrative coordinator, Laura Jaquith Bartlett, will be your primary contacts and guides through the application process for provisional membership. As soon as you believe you are ready to move from certified candidacy to provisional membership, get in touch with Deb and Laura (bom@umoi.org) to determine your time line. This is a complex process, but we are ready to walk through it with you!

Just like for certified candidacy, we have a downloadable checklist that can help you move through the steps. Be sure to check this page often to make sure you're using the most current version:

Checklist for Provisional Membership (10-23-2020)

DCOM Recommendation

You will need to be recommended by your District Committee on Ordained Ministry (DCOM), typically at their late summer or early fall meeting. Make sure your DCOM knows about your desire to apply for provisional membership on the deacon or elder track, and that they are prepared to interview and take a vote (this vote must be approved by at least 75%).


It is your responsibility to learn the deadlines for applications, paperwork, transcripts, and references. You are encouraged to contact the BOM Administrative Coordinator (Laura Jaquith Bartlett) to confirm these deadlines. Please be aware that deadlines do change from year to year because of many different factors. Do not assume that last year's deadlines will apply to this year.


The application checklist you'll receive from the BOM Registrar will include a variety of forms. Even if you completed these forms for your initial candidacy application with the District Committee on Ordained Ministry, you still need to submit new forms for the provisional member application process (this is because the BOM needs to have the most recent information about you is it does its work of discernment). These forms can be found here. Specifically, you will likely be asked for:

Formatting Papers

Since Board members will most often read your papers online, we require the papers to be submitted in a format that facilitates their placement on the BOM secure website.

  1. Our preferred format is Adobe Acrobat PDF. (Email the Administrative Coordinator if you have questions about file compatibility.) Most word processing programs will allow you to save your work as a PDF, but if you have problems, contact Laura.

  2. Please use standard fonts and page sizes. Endnotes are preferable to footnotes.

  3. Always keep a hard copy, as well as an electronic copy, of your submitted papers. BOM is not responsible for electronic transmission errors or files lost in the process of dissemination. Keep a copy in the event files are lost or damaged.

  4. Start early! We can't stress this enough. Remember that you'll be submitting your application digitally, and even the most experienced techno-geek can sometimes encounter a cyber glitch that can delay your whole process. Help is available--but it's difficult to access that help five minutes before the deadline!

  5. You will need to be familiar with the Board's plagiarism policy before you begin writing your papers. As you begin the writing process, be in contact with the Administrative Coordinator, who will set you up with access to iThenticate, the BOM's software program, which will allow you to check your own work for possible plagiarism.

Copy Editing 

The Board of Ordained Ministry has partnered with two copy editors to assist with documentation for the candidacy process. Copy editing services focus on grammar and syntax, not developmental editing for content.

Rates range from $35–$60 per hour. Please contact the copy editor directly for an estimate for your specific document.

For any questions about the copy editing process, contact Teri Watanabe.